It’s easy to overlook the learning factor when kids are playing on a low ropes course set up by Doe River Gorge, hopping in and out of an 18-wheel tractor trailer provided by the Tennessee Trucking Association and singing karaoke.
The Kid Power event, now in its 10th year, was developed not only to give participants a fun and relaxing day, but also to provide kids and their families access to learn about and engage with different community agencies.
Anne Newton, director of communications and public relations with Frontier Health and Kid Power media chairwoman, said the goal of creating the event was to give kids the means and information to help overcome challenges while completing fun activities in a carnival-like atmosphere.
“We’ve made this a totally free event to draw families in. Fun is the draw, empowerment is the key,” she said.
Newton said the Kid Power activities will run from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday at Daniel Boone High School, instead of the Appalachian Fairgrounds in Gray, where the event was hosted in past years.
“Washington County Coordinated School Health partnered with the Washington County Department of Education, and they’re allowing us to do it at Boone,” she said. “We’re able to keep it centrally located in Gray and yet the facilities there are really good and we’re very excited.”
With games at every event, kids have numerous things to keep them entertained, such as face-painting, playing cornhole and seeing a Wings helicopter land.
When kids arrive, they will be given a card they can fill up with stamps at each station they visit and when they complete the card they can turn it back in for a prize, Newton said.
WCQR’s Danny the Lion, Raceway Ministries, Girls on the Run, Gray Fossil Site, the Kingsport Lifesaving Crew’s Heavy Rescue Bloodhound Search Team, a Water Rescue Truck, Niswonger Children’s Hospital and the Johnson City Family Skate Center will be at the event with games and activities for the kids. Marathon Ministries also will be there to give away clothing and supplies to families.
“We also have food, so they can come from 10 a.m. and actually stay with us all day long,” Newton said.
The Blue Blaze 98 fast pitch softball team will sell hot dogs, Temple Baptist Youth from Kingsport will sell pizza and nachos, as well as Sno Biz selling shaved ice and a Ross’s Italian Ice stand.
“It’s just a really valuable way for local organizations and service providers to reach children and families all in one place,” she said. “It’s not like a family has to go to the health department or this agency and that agency. The agencies all come together and then the families can walk around and see what they need, and at the same time the kids are having fun.”
The Daniel Boone ROTC and school council, Family Skate Center, Kingsport Lifesaving Crew, Frontier Health, Tennessee Voices for Children, Holston Valley Broadcasting and Cumulus Broadcasting, along with the Washington County Coordinated School Health, Washington County Department of Education and the Niswonger Children’s Hospital are sponsors for this year’s event.